Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

IBM Tracks Pork Chops From Pig To Plate

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the name-your-food dept.

China 216

dcblogs writes "IBM is deploying technology in China that allows meat suppliers to track a single pig all the way from farm animal to pork chop. Pigs are initially identified with a barcoded ear tag. This identification is then put on bins used to track the various pig parts as they pass through the slaughterhouse, processing plant, distribution center and finally to the clear plastic-wrapped package in a grocer's case. If a consumer buys three pork chops in a package, 'you know that these three pieces of pork chop came from pig number 123,' said Paul Chang, who leads global strategy for emerging technologies at IBM. The goal is to control disease outbreaks, but theoretically this technology could allow a grocer to put a picture on the store package of the pig you are eating."

cancel ×

216 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

The real goal (5, Insightful)

Intron (870560) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425030)

I would like a more stylish ear tag when you start doing this on humans, please.

Re:The real goal (2)

Third Position (1725934) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425226)

Maybe this is how they're planning to keep track of their global work force.

Re:The real goal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38425670)

Or the unwanted swine in 1930s Germany.
 
You have to learn from history. IBM is still IBM. Just wait till this bounces back to the Americans and the DHS gets its grubby hands on the tech and awards IBM a trillion dollar contract. Wait for it.

Re:The real goal (1)

Mistlefoot (636417) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425230)

It will happen to humans before it happens to livestock.

In North America we can't even track which country the meat comes from, let alone which animal.

http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/Regulation/WTO-sides-with-Canada-on-US-meat-country-of-origin-labeling

Basically, it is so much of a challenge keeping meat from different countries separate so processing plants simply resort to only buying meat from one country where rules to maintain a "country of origin" are implemented. How can we expect there to be an "animal of origin"?

Re:The real goal (5, Funny)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425408)

That's why you should eat racehorses. Parentage on racehorses is highly documented.

Re:The real goal (2)

TheLink (130905) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425716)

In North America we can't even track which country the meat comes from, let alone which animal.

I heard in Japan it's not uncommon for a farmer's produce to be labelled/displayed with his photo in a supermarket (e.g. vegetables, and stuff like ginger). Read it somewhere[1] and recently asked a friend who is working there.

Anyone in/from Japan would like to confirm/deny or provide more details?

[1] http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/11/business/worldbusiness/11safety.html [nytimes.com]
By the way, I had to find this using Bing. Google produced tons of unrelated crap for: japanese farmers photos vegetables china "quality control" supermarket.

I might have to switch to trying Bing first, if Google continues being so crap. Yes I know you're supposed to put double quotes around every mandatory keyword in Google nowadays. Fuck that.

IBM already did this (4, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425314)

But IBM's tech worked with numbers burned on forearms.

Re:IBM already did this (5, Informative)

Johann Lau (1040920) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425492)

I would like a more stylish ear tag when you start doing this on humans, please.

oh, not to worry! your concerns have long since been recognized.

United States Patent 5,878,155 [uspto.gov]

There have been other methods to permanently identify humans. During the holocaust, the Nazis tattooed the arms of Jews with a unique identifying number. On an episode of the "X-FILES," a fictional television program on the FOX television network, a human was abducted by aliens who conducted experiments on the abductee. In order to permanently tag the abductee, the aliens etched a unique bar code onto one of the abductee's teeth. Neither of these methods is practical for marking humans for electronic sale transaction purposes. First, social conscience dictates that any permanent marking of humans not be conspicuous, such as a visible numbering on an arm like the holocaust victims. Second, the bar code must be long enough, large enough, and accessible enough to make the transaction efficient. Thus bar codes on teeth would not be practical because of the limited size of the teeth and the embarrassment caused by sales personnel placing scanning equipment in a customer's mouth.

There is, therefore, a need in the art for verifying the identity of humans by electronic means that facilitates the transaction of sales, particularly e-money, through computer networks. It is an object of the present invention to overcome problems in the prior art.

the problem of the prior art being those permanent markings being conspicuous, and that's it. meditate on that for a second.. and then check out the patent no. 4,597,495 which this one cites as reference. merry christmas!

Re:IBM already did this (1)

Johann Lau (1040920) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425512)

oh, I replied to the wrong post, sorry ^^

Re:The real goal (1)

durrr (1316311) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425824)

Facebook timeline good enough?

Re:The real goal (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425870)

>> stylish ear tag... on humans

IBM should apply this technology to keeping track of America's fine constabulary.

First Yea!!! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38425044)

See Porky, eat Porky

Re:First Yea!!! (1)

Reverand Dave (1959652) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425110)

The deliciousness comes from the fact that it had a mother, you can almost taste the innocence!

Re:First Yea!!! (3, Interesting)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425166)

I'd be a bit more excited about this technology, if it would track where ALL my food I'm purchasing comes from.

First thing I'd do...I'd avoid ALL food coming from China...and just buy US foods, preferably as locally raised as possible.

I do appreciate that the labeling on fish now allows me to do this, I'd be happy if I could do this with most all foods I buy in the store, that I don't now know its source of origin.

I'm trying to learn (again) what seasons things naturally grow...that should help somewhat trying to keep food purchases local.

Re:First Yea!!! (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425282)

Many grocery stores now label where produce comes from. (Many produce companies do, too.) Usually state of origin within the US and country of origin otherwise. As long as you're okay with produce from California and Mexico, it's pretty easy to avoid produce from distant lands.

Re:First Yea!!! (5, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425354)

Dear Cayenne8,

We in the agriculture and food processing industry take customer satisfaction extremely seriously. For a small additional packaging fee, we would be delighted to ensure that your food has been locally produced in the location of your choice and certified to whatever standard you desire by whatever certification bodies you trust most. Our graphics department may require 8-10 additional business days for certification logos not already in our library, and 4-colour printing is extra.

To suit the requirements of today's environmentally sensitive customer, we are proud to label all our products as being sustainably derived from non-endangered species, or endangered species whose tissues are indistinguishable by any test likely to be employed by the customs agents of your jurisdiction.

Sincerely Yours,
The Supply Chain.

Re:First Yea!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38425482)

This is supposed to be a joke, right?

Re:First Yea!!! (2)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425402)

I can tell you how to do this right now.

Go find a farm and buy from them. you can even pick out the chicken that is running around for them to kill for you.

Honestly, it has been easy to buy local for centuries, most people dont want to bother because it also involves experiencing the process. several times a year I buy a cow with 3 other families. we end up with 1/4 of it in processed meat that tastes better than anything from a supermarket.

It's more expensive, but it can easily be done.

Re:First Yea!!! (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425484)

Go find a farm and buy from them. you can even pick out the chicken that is running around for them to kill for you.

Trouble is, I wouldn't know exactly where to even start looking for a farm anywhere near me.

I live in New Orleans....I can quite easily find fresh seafood...but I don't think there is any farmland within reasonable driving distance to me.

That and it would make my weekly grocery shopping trip take 1 or two days longer....?

:)

During the summer, I do try to garden what I can for myself, but just isn't practical to hit the farms on grocery day. Heck, it is a PITA to hit 2-4 different stores that day...to get the different specials at each store.

Re:First Yea!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38425650)

It's even easier than that. You can do this at a supermarket.

For example, if strawberries are more than $2.50/lb., then they are not in season.

Re:First Yea!!! (1)

adonoman (624929) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425852)

It's more expensive, but it can easily be done.

For significant amounts of meat it's often cheaper. I split a cow with my brother every so often. We go to a nearby farm and pick a cow, he slaughters, packs, freezes, and delivers the meat. It comes to about $3.00 - $4.00 / lb. If you only ever buy ground beef, it's a bit on the pricey side, but when you look at the price of the nicer cuts of meat, it averages out to be similar or cheaper than supermarket prices. You just need to find the freezer storage space.

Poultry is more expensive, but that's largely because you're getting free-range chickens and also the extra costs of inspection.

if pig dens are over there like here.. (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425048)

then no way in hell they'd implement a picture.

anyhow, this isn't really news is it? except that they're bothering with this in china(to have a meat supply track where the meat isn't binned to a single big bin at some point in the process).

Re:if pig dens are over there like here.. (4, Interesting)

Millennium (2451) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425128)

then no way in hell they'd implement a picture.

You can bet PETA will lobby for legislation mandating it, though. Not that I think they'll succeed, but they'll certainly try.

Re:if pig dens are over there like here.. (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425260)

then no way in hell they'd implement a picture.

anyhow, this isn't really news is it? except that they're bothering with this in china(to have a meat supply track where the meat isn't binned to a single big bin at some point in the process).

Consider this country had the Milk scandal and you can imagine how necessary something like this tracking can be. However... if the Beijing government really doesn't know how so many hackers can be attacking USA sites and servers and they're handling these land grabs very poorly, the grip of the Central Government could certainly be called into question (I really don't think it's as strong as many believe.) Where there's corruption there's going to be will and means to game this system - "Recognise this pig? It's amazingly like the past 100 other pigs, with a little photoshopping" sorta thing.

Then there's sausage .. the great mystery is what goes in and how hard that could be to track.

Interesting idea and the fact they are even looking in this direction suggests there something going on, which is well known at high levels and you're not hearing much about.

Oh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38425054)

So THAT'S what IBM is doing now.

No thanks (2)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425070)

From the summary:

"...theoretically this technology could allow a grocer to put a picture on the store package of the pig you are eating."

No thanks. I like to feel a personal disconnection with the animal I'm about to eat. Lobsters aren't so bad because they're like bugs, but many people keep furry animals like pigs as pets. The idea's like a local radio commercial that advertises lambskin boots and then plays a cute "Baaaaa" noise, which is quizzical and bizzarre.

Everytime that commercial comes on at work I say, "That is the sound of the lamb being slaughtered to make those boots."

Re:No thanks (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38425216)

Why is denial more comforting than acceptance? I'm a carnivore myself, but I don't try and block out knowledge of where my food comes from.

Re:No thanks (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38425238)

You sound like a joy to work with. I'm sure your coworkers enjoy watching TV with you.

Re:No thanks (1)

dbc (135354) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425800)

Hi there, city boy. What a hoot you folks are, hypocrites one and all. You should be a vegan.

I remember sitting around the family dinner table, commenting on the flavor and tenderness of particular steaks. "Pretty good. Very tender. But remember Wilfred? He was amazingly tender and flavorful.' To which someone might reply: "Wilfred was good, buy I preferred Roscoe."

Our citified cousins tended not to join the conversation...

If you aren't willing to kill it, don't eat it. I hear Mark Zuckerburg has been doing that this past year -- butchering his own meat because he decided not to eat anything he hadn't killed himself. You might want to try that. Or try being a vegan. Either way, you need a big dose of reality rays.

Meet the meat (3, Insightful)

onyxruby (118189) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425078)

Does Douglas Adam's estate get to sue if we get an introduction of our pork by our pork?

Re:Meet the meat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38425592)

"Meet the meat" was the first thing I thought when I saw this. Now we just need a time-traveling restaurant and a galactic hyper-hearse, and we'll be all set.

Right (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425088)

The goal is to control disease outbreaks, but theoretically this technology could allow a grocer to put a picture on the store package of the pig you are eating.

As if a grocer would actually do this (unless forced by a pack of wild PETA activists).

More people turning vegetarian? (5, Insightful)

kheldan (1460303) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425092)

theoretically this technology could allow a grocer to put a picture on the store package of the pig you are eating

Considering how disconnected the average person is from where their food comes from, I think putting a face on the meat you're buying would turn many people's stomachs -- and maybe turn them off eating meat. Oh well, more bacon for the rest of us!

Re:More people turning vegetarian? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38425142)

As a kid, I used to live close to a place where pigs were slaughtered. Never seen or smelt what happened inside, but I could hear them scream. Yes, it did turn me into a vegetarian, I have not been eating meat for over 18 years.

Re:More people turning vegetarian? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38425220)

Pussy, you don't deserve to eat meat. The screaming of pigs being slaughtered gives me a boner, MMMMM Bacon!

Re:More people turning vegetarian? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38425632)

Seriously, last night pork chops were some of the most succulent I've ever eaten and I will happily pay extra for the meat of this fine beast's siblings.

Re:More people turning vegetarian? (3, Interesting)

Ubergrendle (531719) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425178)

We've been doing this in canada for at least a year now, particularly regarding fisheries and lobsters.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/story/2011/07/01/ns-thisfish-tracks-diner-to-water.html [www.cbc.ca]

Re:More people turning vegetarian? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38425864)

We're used to seeing fish and lobsters in the grocery when we buy our food and it doesn't bother us. People will be a little squeamish at first, then they'll just desensitize and care even less about the original animal. Food animal is food. As others have mentioned, it's a "used to" thing, and just as most other cultures don't give a shit, we won't either.

Re:More people turning vegetarian? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38425276)

That's pretty well exactly what I was thinking.

The goal is to control disease outbreaks, but theoretically this technology could allow a grocer to put a picture on the store package of the pig you are eating.

So... psycho vegan grocers would be able to run themselves out of business by making people not want to buy from them after yet another round of painfully smug and condescendingly ham-fisted* evangelizing, while the SANE grocer next door would let them buy their goddamned meat in PEACE without disturbing imagery? Why on earth would any grocer want to actually DO that?

*: Aha, yeah? Yeah? See what I did there? Yeah. Man, I just don't get the chance to use puns that bad AND contextual very often, but when I do get that chance, aw yeah, I'm going to make the most of it.

Re:More people turning vegetarian? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38425464)

Not in China it wouldn't. When you go out to buy chicken it still goes cluck. Its not uncommon to see pigs being taken to slaughter as well. There are of course live fish, eels, snails, frogs, etc. for sale as well.

Re:More people turning vegetarian? (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425566)

Our pork will now come with a photo of the animal that died along with a little biography ("He liked sunny days spent wallowing."). It'll be like one of those "support a child overseas" charities.

Re:More people turning vegetarian? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38425628)

I for one would think it would make it more delicious

Bad Marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38425096)

Generally speaking, it's probably a bad idea to put a face to the meat, unless you're with PETA.

Ugh.... (1, Interesting)

Third Position (1725934) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425106)

The goal is to control disease outbreaks, but theoretically this technology could allow a grocer to put a picture on the store package of the pig you are eating.

Sometimes, the idea of becoming a vegan is really appealing.....

Re:Ugh.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38425152)

Eww veganism is for tools. Vegetarianism is not so bad, you can have milk and cheese (and perhaps eggs if you're progressive) without feeling as bad. Dairy cows are still pretty poorly kept but they have to be a bit healthier.

Re:Ugh.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38425170)

It's a great idea. Then you can look at the package of pork and verify visually that the pig at least looked healthy. Some pigs 'look' more delicious than others.

Of course you squeemish moderns don't like the idea of where your food comes from. So it'll never happen.

Re:Ugh.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38425734)

Did you just call us modems?

Re:Ugh.... (0)

Vegan Cyclist (1650427) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425816)

Go for it, but you can kiss your positive Karma points here good-bye. ;)

Wilbur (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38425108)

That's some pig!

Yeah, I don't think seeing the face that used to carry that porkchop around seems like a very appetizing idea.

Nazi hollerith punch cards to track walking dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38425118)

Sounds incredibly like hollerith punch card technology that was used to track death camp and labor camp prisoners from abduction to death.

Did IBM make those as well?

Re:Nazi hollerith punch cards to track walking dea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38425174)

The more things change, the more they stay the same...

Re:Nazi hollerith punch cards to track walking dea (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425460)

PETA would have us believe animal farms and nazi death camps are morally equivalent.

Re:Nazi hollerith punch cards to track walking dea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38425772)

They had an ad campaign a while back where they equated eating a chicken sandwich to killing someone in the Holocaust.

When PETA does that, they are actually endorsing the Holocaust. Since there is nothing morally wrong with eating a chicken sandwich, there must be nothing morally wrong with the Holocaust, since they equate the two.

I'd be more impressed by technology (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38425120)

that tracked pig parts from the country clubs and corporate jets to the PAC offices to the K-street lobbyists and think tanks to the Washington Nationals sky boxes and Capitol Hill lunch spots to the Congressional cloak rooms.

His name was Wilbur (5, Funny)

dethndrek (870145) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425122)

"He liked spiders, and was a pretty stupendous pig."

More Proof that... (1)

sethmeisterg (603174) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425130)

IBM has WAAAAAAAAY too much time on its hands.

Re:More Proof that... (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425458)

No, if IBM is deploying this, it means that they have found customers who had WAAAAAAAAY too much money in their hands. And that IBM convinced them that they needed to pay for this technology.

FTFA:

Chang said the company has a similar tracking project with a large U.S. retailer that is focused on produce, but IBM can't disclose the customer's name. IBM is deploying similar systems in Vietnam, Thailand, Norway and elsewhere.

C'mom Slashdot readers in the countries listed above . . . are your pigs tagged? And do you buy pork with pictures . . . ?

"Hey . . . what's that thing on my ear . . . ?"

This is going to get complex(and long)... (5, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425160)

For discrete cuts of meat, the labeling should be simple enough; but some of the more, er, 'waste minimizing' meat products are going to get seriously complex.

The composition of a given hamburger would probably have to be given as a joint probability density function across a set of hundreds or thousands of animals or something similarly messy. That would give label-readers something to ponder...

Re:This is going to get complex(and long)... (5, Funny)

Joehonkie (665142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425210)

Your hot dog was composed of the pigs, earthworms, and insects pictured below:

Re:This is going to get complex(and long)... (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425222)

Something like chicken nuggets would be a challenge, but there's nothing stopping processors from making single-animal ground meat and sausage.

Re:This is going to get complex(and long)... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38425356)

Something like chicken nuggets would be a challenge, but there's nothing stopping processors from making single-animal ground meat and sausage.

Nothing but competition and economics, that is. Until the market differentiates and demands single-animal composite meats products, economies of scale will benefit operations that don't take the effort.

Re:This is going to get complex(and long)... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425432)

Surely they could just tap one of the statistics professors at hamburger university. I imagine that describing the origin of a given nugget in the n-dimensional probability space encompassing all the possible distributions of the various animals on the line at production time would be rather like describing the position of an electron in space: You couldn't actually say where an individual nugget falls; but with knowledge of the production process and the input animals you could model the statistical distribution of where each nugget is more or less likely to fall...

Re:This is going to get complex(and long)... (1)

khr (708262) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425450)

Something like chicken nuggets would be a challenge, but there's nothing stopping processors from making single-animal ground meat and sausage.

Then they can probably charge more, sort of like single barrel whisky and things like that...

Re:This is going to get complex(and long)... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38425562)

single barrel whiskey tastes better, single animal nuggets would taste the same.

Re:This is going to get complex(and long)... (1)

Pope (17780) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425784)

Sorta OT, but there was an interesting article recently on the price of hogs and when McDonalds brings back the McRib, the price has to be within a certain range or they won't do it: http://www.theawl.com/2011/11/a-conspiracy-of-hogs-the-mcrib-as-arbitrage [theawl.com]

For Goverment, not for public. (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425332)

The FDA is trying to do something similar here in the U.S. Cost / Benefit and regulating small farmers is the problem.
They want the data for public health reasons. When there is an outbreak to disease (tuberculosis, salmonella) or contaminated meat the FDA would like to track the outbreak to the source. So, while it is kind of pointless to know where your hamburger came from (the packages in the local supermarket come from 1 or 2), not so much for the public health people.

Re:This is going to get complex(and long)... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425352)

only low grade hamburger. I usually pick out a roast or set of large steaks and ask the butcher to grind it for me. Tastes far better than the prepackaged garbage "ground beef" or "hamburger"

If you go to a real butcher, you end up with better meat for the same price.

Re:This is going to get complex(and long)... (1)

kungfugleek (1314949) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425434)

"May also contain one of the following: Wilbur Babe Bessy Betsy Gerty ..."

Re:This is going to get complex(and long)... (1)

griffjon (14945) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425526)

I can't even imagine the complexity of graphing the content of a mystery-meat style hotdog: multiple cuts, animals, processing plants, species, segments of time.... perhaps forcing this to be labeled would shift our eating habits back towards higher-quality, more expensive cuts of meat, lowering our overall consumption and reducing the environmental impact of heavy meat consumption.

It might even make super market meat taste decent over time!

Therefore, I'm not at all worried about this getting implemented inside the US.

Don't be surprised if IBM has a patent on this (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425188)

"...you know that these three pieces of pork chop came from pig number 123,' said Paul Chang, who leads global strategy for emerging technologies at IBM. The goal is to control disease outbreaks, but theoretically this technology could allow a grocer to put a picture on the store package of the pig you are eating..."

Would anyone be surprised if IBM has a patent on this? Remember, I am talking about the USPTO here. We've seen that in the past.

Re:Don't be surprised if IBM has a patent on this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38425334)

Probably not... in the European Union this kind of system is very old and is a cornerstone of food safety, quality control and animal disease prevention.

So in the European Union not all animals are created equal for a very long time....

Prior Art: IBM and Nazi Germany +3, Sickening (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38425380)

collaboration [ibmandtheholocaust.com] .

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year !

Yours In Osh,
K. Trou t

Re:Don't be surprised if IBM has a patent on this (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425448)

How'd you like to be the patent examiner who has to strike down that application because IBM's own work in tracking people from ghetto to oven constituted prior art?

Will it make bacon tastier? (2)

BLToday (1777712) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425218)

It would be a waste of technology if it didn't make bacon taste even better.

hotdogs? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38425268)

I wonder what the "came from" list would look like on a package of htodogs.

Re:hotdogs? (1)

Third Position (1725934) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425436)

I wonder what the "came from" list would look like on a package of htodogs.

Do you really want to see the pictures of the rats and cockroaches you're eating?

Re:hotdogs? (1)

Ellis D. Tripp (755736) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425586)

Not to mention a can of Spam....

Makes sense (2)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425304)

They did the same thing in 1930's/40's Germany. I guess the more that things change, the more that they stay the same.

Gets old... (3, Insightful)

Junta (36770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425516)

Everyone know that the part of IBM operating in Germany worked with the government of the time helping with some of the most heinous institutionalized in human history. However, there is a good chance you can't find a single person currently in IBM's employ who was even *born* when that was happening. Implying that IBM continues to be a company worthy of scorn even now due to this is not that far off from calling Germany a despicable country. We must never forget and specific examples of how organizations were complicit in the whole thing helps to keep perspective, but in any way implying the IBM of *today* has any blame for what was done by people who have no invlovlement in IBM at all anymore is not productive.

Re:Makes sense (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38425572)

Some of those "pigs" were my relatives, you insensitive clod.

Wont work in the USA. (3, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425328)

Americans don't want to see the face of the pig they are eating, In fact most don't want to hear how you kill and process and animal. Putting a photo of the pig on the package will guarantee a drop in sales.

Re:Wont work in the USA. (1)

Sfing_ter (99478) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425498)

Unless of course it says "Rail Gun - HEAD SHOT!"~~~~~~~~>

obligatory (1)

prgrmr (568806) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425336)

Time to meet the meat!

and track it back to its facebook page (2)

milindss (963310) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425344)

Track it back to its facebook page and post a message - "You were delicious"

Great! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38425346)

We've been doing this in Europe for quite a few years now...

Government Pork.... (1)

kryliss (72493) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425376)

Now that's what they really need to be tracking...

You know it's you Babe (1)

Sfing_ter (99478) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425414)

Obligatory Styx quote: You know it's you Babe!

'Cause you know it's you babe
Whenever I get weary
And I've had enough
Feel like giving up
You know it's you Babe
Givin' me the courage
And the strength I need
Please believe that it's true
Babe, I love you!
Squeal...

A whole new meaning to the game... (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425426)

"This little piggy went to market"

Picture and Bio (1)

TheUglyAmerican (767829) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425478)

I think we should do more to honor the creatures we eat. There is no greater sacrifice than for a creature to give its life to sustain the life of another. Instead of the nihilism vegetarians would desire for our fellow creatures, I say we give these creatures life, a good life, then celebrate that life as we dine on their flesh. So yes, give us a picture and bio of our creatures.

Re:Picture and Bio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38425686)

Animals are gross, and stupid - I hate them. I'm vegetarian because I don't want anything to do with filthy, dumb, beasts. Veggies are cute and adorable, so I want to eat them.

Re:Picture and Bio (1)

rikkards (98006) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425762)

Good luck with that, easier to get Americans to stop shopping at Walmart and spend couple hundred on a DVD player built in the US than something for $50 built in China

Ben & Jerry's did this long ago (2)

AlienSexist (686923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425502)

Many years ago there was a similar article about Ben & Jerry's ice cream doing the same kind of ingredient-to-finished-product tracking. It described how say, complaints in Cherry Garcia ice cream can be traced by batch # to the source of the cherries, cream, etc to help pinpoint the problem in quality. For a long time people had been wanting things like this for food safety. Past steps to get the ball rolling in the livestock industry are stalled on practical matters such as tagging things like yes.. Individual chickens. The obvious complaint is that it costs too much money for farmers/ranchers to tag all of these animals. Humorously the farmers joke that the politicians want them to tag the chickens in their ears... which chickens do not have.

Talk about a bad idea... (1)

wfolta (603698) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425584)

"... theoretically this technology could allow a grocer to put a picture on the store package of the pig you are eating."

Yeah, that would sell so many more packages. Reminds me of the friends who decided to raise their own Thanksgiving Turkey. (Who did not get eaten at Thanksgiving, and is now spending its retirement years in the country, at the friends' expense.)

Already done in Australia for custom beef (1)

wdef (1050680) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425620)

I believe chefs in Japan can select a cow on the web with details of its history etc. It is then killed, butchered and the meat is shipped to them direct. The beef is specifically bred for Japanese tastes, marbled with fat etc.

Not new. (1)

EkriirkE (1075937) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425626)

Isn't this just plain old lot tracking?

ROI (1)

opusbuddy (164089) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425672)

Wow! IBM finally figured out how to make money out of pig painting!

Should I Be Worried (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425676)

If the package says "Pork"? With with the quote marks, I mean...

1024 (1)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 2 years ago | (#38425706)

Dibs on pig 1024.

Delusional "knowledge" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38425710)

you know that these three pieces of pork chop came from pig number 123

Yeah riiiight...
You trust about two dozen people, handling all those pigs/pork, labeling them, etc, on saying that they came from pig number 123.
People in horrible work conditions, who naturally will do trickery if it means they can make some extra money and eat something better than rice with rice tomorrow.
People who might sell you fake rice made from plastic and cellulose [youtube.com] , fake eggs made from the same stuff as flubber [youtube.com] , and fake USB drives [gsmarena.com] . (And given their situation, you can't even blame them.)

Exactly. That's how stupid this sounds It's the "reliable sources" syndrome from Wikipedia all over again.
Total ignorance of the only guaranteed fact: That you have not observed it for yourself, but rely on "sources", whose trustworthiness is different for different people, and who themselves has an inherent, inevitable filter bias in their senses, their brains, and their communication media.

Stupid, stupid, stupid!

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>